Washington (IANS) - US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has urged the Congress to raise the debt limit before its August recess to avoid a potential federal government default. "I urge you to raise the debt limit before you leave for the summer," Xinhua news agency quoted Mnuchin as saying before the House Ways and Means Committee on May 24.
He said that he would prefer a "clean" debt limit increase, which would not include any additional provisions. The US Treasury has begun using bookkeeping manoeuvre to continue to finance the government's activities since the federal government's outstanding debt reached its statutory limit on March 15.
These measures could help the Treasury have sufficient cash to make essential payments "until sometime in the fall of 2017" without increasing the debt limit, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said. But Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, warned on May 24 that the Congress may have to raise the debt limit sooner than previously expected.
"The (tax) receipts, currently, are coming in slower than expected and you may soon hear from Mnuchin about a change in the date," Mulvaney said. The debt limit is the maximum amount of debt that the Treasury can issue to the public and other federal agencies. The amount of outstanding debt subject to limit has risen to about $19.9 trillion.